U.S. Men 2023-24 news & updates

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ice coverage

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Ilia Malinin appears twice on 2024 ISU Awards ballots*:
"Most Valuable Skater"​
"Most Entertaining Program" (for his SP)​

Jason Brown is on the ballot* for "Most Entertaining Program" (for his FS -- from 2023 Worlds, I think, per photo on ballot).

*Meaning the ballot with the "long list" of "candidates." The three candidates with the most votes then will be announced as "nominees."

Once the voting closes on Jan 7, 2024, the ISU Skating Awards Selection Commission will take into account the online voting results of the two voting groups (Public / Media) with the following weight: Public 2/3 and Media 1/3. ...
After the voting concludes and the nominees are unveiled, a panel of distinguished Juries featuring six former Figure Skating Champions will deliberate and cast their votes to determine the winners. The grand reveal and presentation of the Awards will take place on Feb 11, 2024.

 
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Theatregirl1122

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I don't think 4CC is the right choice for any of the US's medal contending skaters. Too close to US nationals and too likely to burn out for little benefit. The only exception would be dance, where the politics are complicated.
 

Trillian

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The 3 spots are alluring. But, what are we going to do with our men? Not to snark at all, but we don`t have a group that is reliable at Challenger events. US coaches aren`t having much success imparting knowledge of 4`s. Seriously, should USFS sponsor some promising juniors to Japan for development? (Do Japan coaches accept other nationalities?) (Maybe this belongs in Unpopular Opinions)

Is there a country besides Japan that’s doing better than the U.S. at developing their men’s field, though? You could argue that France’s top duo of Adam + Kevin could post better results than Ilia + Jason on a good day, but they don’t have a stronger field overall than the U.S. beyond that. Italy has three or four strong competitors, but unlike the U.S. and France, probably no world medal contenders. Most other countries only have one or two men at most who are reasonably competitive on the senior level internationally, and most don’t have multiple emerging skaters in juniors to suggest that will change in the near future.

In terms of sheer volume, we have more senior men than most other countries besides Japan, which probably just makes it more obvious that most of them aren’t Ilia. But other countries don’t have Ilia, either.

The real question is why we’re falling behind Japan, since our field is really not that weak relative to any other country. And while coaching and consistent quads are certainly factors, IMO the answer is probably a lot more complicated and involves societal factors that are outside the realm of a figure skating NGB to control.
 

Karen-W

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Korea's up-and-coming junior men (Hyungyeom Kim and Juheon Lim both qualified for the JGPF and are Senior age-eligible) are likely to be pretty formidable, IMO.

The US has fabulous depth when it comes to men who are capable of quads and 3As but they're darned inconsistent and that's the main problem. If any of these guys like Camden, Torgy, Naumov, Hiwatashi, Zharkov, Lucas, Xie, Martynov, or Liam were able to match the consistency of Nathan, Vincent and now Ilia, we'd be in fine shape.
 

Karen-W

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Nope he visits him maybe twice a year and the focus is on choreography with Shae Lynn. His parents did this
That is definitely not what he has said in past. He has been going to California to work with Raf during winter break and the summers for several years now - Raf mentioned a junior man he was working with back in 2019 and it was confirmed then that it was Ilia (I remember because I was hoping it would be Liam Kapeikis, lol). He already had a beautiful 3A in 2019 when he was 14, so it was pretty clear then that quads were only a matter of time. I'd say it was a collaborative effort to teach Ilia quads between Raf and Tatiana/Roman, with Raf imparting to them his coaching methods and them implementing them with Ilia - who is a supernaturally blessed athlete and jumping prodigy. But let's be real, Raf is only one of the ingredients to quad success - otherwise Mick Brezina and Adam Rippon would have been just as good as Nathan and Ilia.
 
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skatfan

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Nope he visits him maybe twice a year and the focus is on choreography with Shae Lynn. His parents did this
The choreography part is new. Raf has been a part of the team to get Ilia quads for years now. We can believe that Ilia's parents are independent coaches for quads if other of their students can show them.
 

ice coverage

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I love this striking video of Maxim Naumov and Camden training together at SCOB.
Too good not to share:

ETA:​
A couple of extra seconds of Camden's program are at the beginning of Adam Blake's version that is similar to the video from Maxim's parents that I originally saw (now moved to the bottom of this post).​
Plus Camden can be seen giving a fist-pump at the end of Adam's video.​

(Dec 13)​
 
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Karen-W

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I love this striking video of Maxim Naumov and Camden training together at SCOB.
Too good not to share:

(Dec 13)​
I mean, they both are skating to Tosca this season. What I wouldn't give for them both to have glorious, clean FS of their programs at least once this year.
 

kwanfan1818

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We can believe that Ilia's parents are independent coaches for quads if other of their students can show them.
Or we can believe that Arutunian is a quads coach only if he can teach a range of them them to all of his elite Men, not just Chen and Malinin, and that all of the skaters who work with him periodically can take back those lessons to their home rinks and land quads.

What Malinin has are coaches who've given him the critical fundamental technique and have brought their star-in-the-making protegee kid to someone who is on the same page when it comes to training and expectations. Not that I'd ever call him unmotivated, but he has his mother as "bad cop," and when you train under their eyes, there is no hiding. The base they gave from the time he was young has allowed him to absorb what he's learned from Arutunian without needing two-three years to try to undo bad habits, and they understand it so that they can keep it going when he was across the country.
 

ice coverage

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Nice to hear Dinh Tran speaking this morning -- to welcome everyone to the "New Year's Dream" ice show at Kaunas Ice Palace in Lithuania, Dec 26 - 30.
The Instastory and reel from the venue confirm that Dinh will perform in the show as a special guest.




ETA:​

... Shinohara set all new domestic personal best scores at Midwesterns! :) 74.60 (SP), 141.00 (FS), 215.60 (Total)

As if Taira Shinohara's three triple axels at Sectionals were not enough ... he now has landed quad toe in training. 🔥

(posted Dec 15)​
 
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DreamSkates

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That is definitely not what he has said in past. He has been going to California to work with Raf during winter break and the summers for several years now - Raf mentioned a junior man he was working with back in 2019 and it was confirmed then that it was Ilia (I remember because I was hoping it would be Liam Kapeikis, lol). He already had a beautiful 3A in 2019 when he was 14, so it was pretty clear then that quads were only a matter of time. I'd say it was a collaborative effort to teach Ilia quads between Raf and Tatiana/Roman, with Raf imparting to them his coaching methods and them implementing them with Ilia - who is a supernaturally blessed athlete and jumping prodigy. But let's be real, Raf is only one of the ingredients to quad success - otherwise Mick Brezina and Adam Rippon would have been just as good as Nathan and Ilia.
Agree! Plus look at his physique. Long legs and short waisted. Which may give him more jumping height.
 

orbitz

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That is definitely not what he has said in past. He has been going to California to work with Raf during winter break and the summers for several years now - Raf mentioned a junior man he was working with back in 2019 and it was confirmed then that it was Ilia (I remember because I was hoping it would be Liam Kapeikis, lol). He already had a beautiful 3A in 2019 when he was 14, so it was pretty clear then that quads were only a matter of time. I'd say it was a collaborative effort to teach Ilia quads between Raf and Tatiana/Roman, with Raf imparting to them his coaching methods and them implementing them with Ilia - who is a supernaturally blessed athlete and jumping prodigy. But let's be real, Raf is only one of the ingredients to quad success - otherwise Mick Brezina and Adam Rippon would have been just as good as Nathan and Ilia.

Brezina and Rippon were already well into their senior competitive career before they moved to Raf. Raf started working with Nathan when he was a tot. Granted Nathan does have a natural talent that arguably exceeded that of both Brezina and Rippon's, but it's possible that the latter two would've been more consistent with their quads if they had spent most of their career under Raf's tutelage.
 

Jammers

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The current US men's team combination of Ilia and Jason is perfect. One goes after records and titles, and the other is the stable one earning enough PCS to stay in top ten, enabling US a very good shot at keeping 3 shots. The other US men are, well, not very reliable.
Sooner or later the other US Men need to get it together because Jason may not keep doing this and there goes the 3rd spot. Over the last decade the US has had multiple men who were capable and did finished in top 10 at Worlds who weren't the National champion but now i don't see that happening unless one of these headcases skates like Camden did last year at Worlds.
 

misskarne

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Sooner or later the other US Men need to get it together because Jason may not keep doing this and there goes the 3rd spot.
It's not even that Jason may choose not to keep doing this (which he might). He turned 29 just a couple of weeks ago. As youthful and energetic and lovely as he is, his body can't keep doing this forever. Soon or late, he'll have to retire. And thus far, he doesn't really have a successor.

I mean, at this point, if something doesn't drastically change, he's going to be a walk-on selection for the Olympic team at 32 and no-one will be able to argue.
 

jlai

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It's not even that Jason may choose not to keep doing this (which he might). He turned 29 just a couple of weeks ago. As youthful and energetic and lovely as he is, his body can't keep doing this forever. Soon or late, he'll have to retire. And thus far, he doesn't really have a successor.

I mean, at this point, if something doesn't drastically change, he's going to be a walk-on selection for the Olympic team at 32 and no-one will be able to argue.
It’s possible Zhou may decide to come back for another shot at the Olympics considering how the last one ended. Also another US man may come along then. (Hopeful emoji here)
 

Hedwig

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Adam SHF demonstrates that a talented but inconsistent guy can finally find the zone and compete with top guys. May it happen for one of the Americans!
Ilia was not really consistent in his junior days. Not everyone is Kimmie Repond who seems to be one of the best competitors from age 4 onwards
 

layman

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Adam SHF demonstrates that a talented but inconsistent guy can finally find the zone and compete with top guys. May it happen for one of the Americans!
That's a good analogy. I think Adam has grown a lot both physically and in his skating and that's starting to be reflected in him reaching his potential. I think he's just getting started.


Jacob Sanchez is an American skater who I think has grown a lot both physically and in his skating and whom I consider a diamond in the rough. I love the natural spring that he has in his jumps...his spring reminds me a great deal of the spring I saw in Rohene Ward's jumps. Jacob also seems to listen to his music and use it in his performances (another Rohene specialty).

Jacob is just sixteen now. I believe he will be eighteen when the next Olympic Games roll around. I hope that in the coming years, as Jacob continues to grow, that he can learn to slow down a bit, relax and trust his (wonderful) technique. Right now, it seems that the adrenaline gets to him and he's like a race horse bolting. He has a tendency now to rush his technique, and to get ahead of himself. This leads to jump errors and also leads to a frantic quality in his skating. If some one could just help him to learn to calm down and trust himself, I can see Jacob following a trajectory similar to Adam's.
 
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bladesofgorey

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That's a good analogy. I think Adam has grown a lot both physically and in his skating and that's starting to be reflected in him reaching his potential. I think he's just getting started.


Jacob Sanchez is an American skater who I think has grown a lot both physically and in his skating and whom I consider a diamond in the rough. I love the natural spring that he has in his jumps...his spring reminds me a great deal of the spring I saw in Rohene Ward's jumps. Jacob also seems to listen to his music and use it in his performances (another Rohene specialty).

Jacob is just sixteen now. I believe he will be eighteen when the next Olympic Games roll around. I hope that in the coming years, as Jacob continues to grow, that he can learn to slow down a bit, relax and trust his (wonderful) technique. Right now, it seems that the adrenaline gets to him and he's like a race horse bolting. He has a tendency now to rush his technique, and to get ahead of himself. This leads to jump errors and also leads to a frantic quality in his skating. If some one could just help him to learn to calm down and trust himself, I can see Jacob following a trajectory similar to Adam's.
Sanchez has huge potential- he's a very interesting skater with some great positions and projection even apart from the jumps.
 

layman

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I can look at Jacob's technique on his triples...the speed into and out of them, the explosiveness off the ice, the great height and spring and the quick rotations...and see that quads are in his future. He's at that in-between stage now (in-between junior and senior and in-between triples and quads).

He reminds me in that regard of Nathan Chen. One season Nathan had no quads and the next he came back with all the quads (minus the axel). The transition happened very quickly (when he was ready for it).
 
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